Untitled photo

So yeah, architecture with a pinhole camera. It works surprisingly well.

Apparently this camera has a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 11mm, and because it's lensless, it doesn't have and barrel distortion. Film flatness sometimes shows issues, so it's not perfect… but it's also a pinhole.

There are several buildings in Toronto that seem to change names regularly – it's always entertaining to see the new branding-owners trying to let people know about the transition without using the former branding name. "Home of the Raptors!" instead of naming an airline. I cling to the old names, not that those brand names are any better than the current ones. Skydome being an exceptional exception, but that's when the city paying for the building actually counted for something. So this will always be BCE Place to me, like it was way back when, although a photo naming it after its architect – 'Santiago's Arcade' – did modestly well for me in a small photo competition.

I never do better than Modestly Well in photo competitions. That's probably why I stopped doing them.

Untitled photo

I don't really know what to say about this one, other than noting that it was taken on a Saturday morning in the entertainment district. I don't stage photographs – not out of any moral or artistic emphasis, but because I would simply never think to tie a shoe to a construction barrier.

The sight lines on the camera are very handy for framing the edges of a photo, but if I had a TTL viewfinder I would have overlapped the random shoe and construction sign more artfully with the signs in the background. And maybe moved the camera forward a smidge.

Untitled photo

The fantastic reflection from the gold-plated bank building falling on the train station stopped me in my tracks. I even looked at my watch to see what my odds were of making it back here earlier on a subsequent morning, when the reflection would hit Union Station squarely instead of on edge, and I could come back with colour film or a digital camera. It's unlikely to happen, but still worth remembering for a sunny morning.

This is Ilford Ortho+,  an 80-iso film, developed in Microphen. This means that the indoor photo needed a couple of minutes, and even the outdoor shoe, seen in the shade, took about fifty seconds. But in bright light the exposure could be just a half-second or three, which is impossible to do with any sort of precision. On the other hand, it let me take this 'handheld' by holding the camera on the curved edge of a traffic barrier.

Next time it's a bright sunny day I'll carry an ND filter, and/or use a colour filter to cut some light and kick in a bit more contrast.

Untitled photo

I took a very similar photo to this one many, many years ago. It was in colour with an Olympus 7-14mm lens on one of their early digital SLRs, but otherwise it was very similar. In this case the exposure is fairly far off, resulting in these muddy and ugly tones. There's just no way to move the little lever quickly enough for glass buildings in the full sun. I don't usually re-scan images to try to correct this sort of thing, but in this case it's needed – but perhaps not warranted. I'll have to think about it.

It's also worth noting, just in passing, that these are same-day photos, just like the ones in my Friday post. This morning I left the house at 10am, got back around 12:30, and then took an extended couch break after lunch. I developed the film just before dinner, scanned it after dessert, and had this posted and mostly proofread before 11pm. If I was using my usual lab then I wouldn't have seen any of this weekend's photography until next Wednesday, and then I'd still scan them myself.

So what's next in my pinhole adventure? Well, it's not too cold to be outside yet even thought I'm leaving work an hour after sunset these days, so maybe it's worth seeing what HP5 pushed to iso1600 looks like. That kind of sensitivity would also let me wander indoor spaces, like our empty malls, with shutter speeds short enough to not attract too many security guards. Ten or fifteen seconds should be manageable – short enough to be checking my phone or tying a shoelace. It helps that the pinhole cameras are small enough to fit in my jacket pockets easily.

And soon – while their newness is still fresh, but when I have a bit more experience with them both – I'll do a comparison between the two different pinhole cameras that I've started using more-or-less simultaneously. Maybe in another month or so, to give people plenty of time to order their preferred camera before next April rolls around.